Source: North Shore News, Oct. 14, 1994 (6) Countering Mr. Collins Trevor Lautens As the words atop Dough Collins' column used to say, get this straight: I am strongly pro-Semitic. Understood? I have a general bias _in favor of Jews_. Having said that: Doug Collins has a reputation, among other things, for being absolutely in-your-face clear about his views. No beating around the bush by our Doug. No shades of grey. No nuances. And no reader, if the image is correct, has ever turned from Doug's column muttering "Now, what the hell did he _really_ mean to say?" But at least one reader has. Me. For years I've read Doug on the Holocaust, on the Jews, on the Nazis, on the Nazi-hunters, on the neo-Nazis and the suspected neo-Nazis - the latest his extraordinary column in this paper last Friday blasting a _Province_ article that was headed: "Holocaust just a story: Collins." And having read all that, I honestly don't know what the hell Doug _really_ means to say. His Friday rebuttal chipped away at some points, asserting that "the gas chamber story was false" and that there were none in Western Europe as once claimed. But does Doug therefore conclude that millions of Jews didn't die in Hitler's loathsome camps? Or only that most didn't die in gas chambers? Or is his beef that Hitler's minions killed not just Jews (true), but only the Jews won't forget it? Or that Stalin killed more people than Hitler (also true), but the media don't go on endlessly about that? (Also true, but so what?) In his zeal for smaller truths abetting a bigger lie that he doesn't himself subscribe to? One thing is certain. To my great surprise, because I admire Doug's reportage - and stoutly support his right to write what he thinks, which he does bery readably, very persuasively - Doug gave a misleading quote that selectively left out words that would have damaged his argument. Doug wrote that not just neo-Nazis were questioning Holocaust orthodoxies. By way of example he quoted Princeton historian Arno J. Mayer's book "Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?" Here is the _whole_ quote. I've italicized the words Doug left out: [Transcription note: italicized text from Mayer capitalized. knm] "...Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable... There is no denying the many contradictions, ambiguities and errors in the existing sources. THESE CANNOT BE IGNORED, ALTHOUGH IT MUST BE EMPHASIZED STRONG THAT SUCH DEFECTS ARE ALTOGETHER INSUFFICIENT TO PUT IN QUESTION THE USE OF GAS CHAMBERS IN THE MASS MURDER OF JEWS AT AUSCHWITZ" [in Poland]. By leaving out that vital sentence, Doug leaves the impression that Mayer - a Jew - is skeptical about the existence of the gas chambers. No such thing. Doug also makes much of seeing Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945 and it "contained no gas chambers." Well, I've checked six books on the Holocaust and not one makes that allegation about Bergen-Belsen anyway. Maybe it was made earlier or is still being made by someone, somewhere, but none of these six academics makes it. So Doug's eyewitness testimony falls flat. It's a non-revelation that the unwary might well think challenges accepted fact. As for the famous figure of "six millions," I don't "know" if it's accurate. (One source for it is an evil remark by Adolf Eichmann.) But I can testify that in 1992 I interviewed American historian Raul Hilberg, who has probably sifted through more Holocaust documents than anyone. Hilberg said that his figures added up to 5.1 million, and that newly available records in the collapsed Soviet empire would undoubtedly add more. You could go on and on about this subject. Doug does. Genuinely saddens me, because I'm very fond of him, even though he doubtless considers me a wimp on this and other matters. I sorrowfully suspect he's a victim of his own tenacity. Attacked, threatened, picketed, the old bulldog's response is to sink his teeth in deeper, to the point that his stuff is reprinted by the Institute for Historical Review. I freely acknowledge that I know it only by its reputation - for Holocaust denial. I smiled when he wrote that "18 PhDs" were listed on the masthead of the institute's journal. In another mood, Doug, you - and I - wouldn't hesitate to jeer that 18 PhDs could easily be found in this great world to cloak with academic respectability any wacky notion or repulsive mischief. The institute appears to promote both.
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